By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
“Energizing Global Growth: Understanding the Changing Consumer,” concludes that companies able to capitalize on these changes with speed and agility could capture a portion of the trillions of dollars in growth that businesses globally are likely to see over the next few years as the result of changing consumer behavior. Accenture estimates that just 20 sectors most associated with these changes are set to enjoy growth of US$2.4 trillion by 2016.
The new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is based on four individual studies: an online survey of 10,000 consumers in 10 countries across five continents; a survey of 600 business executives in those same 10 countries; an assessment of the world’s top 3,000 listed companies by market capitalization and their revenue growth compared with the industry averages over various timeframes; and a macroeconomic analysis conducted in conjunction with Oxford Economics to assess the impact of changing consumer behavior.
Consumers are increasingly “connected” – often online, interacting with companies and other consumers to research and purchase products, share advice, and praise or criticize a business. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of the consumers surveyed said they use the Internet to research or purchase products or services more than they did three years ago. Consumers are also increasingly using social media as a tool in the purchasing process and this is changing consumer behavior.
Accenture also found that while nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of business executives said that consumer behavior has changed markedly in the last three years, a similar proportion (74 percent) said they do not fully understand the consumer changes that are under way – and even more (80 percent) said they believe that their companies are not taking full advantage of the opportunities these changes present.